Millions earmarked to protect Jamaica’s coastline
The Government is to spend a further $328 million this year to continue the protection of the Montego Bay coastline by building more groynes and protective structures, particularly for lands dumped up years ago.
The money complements the $1.3 billion already spent to construct what Prime Minister Andrew Holness has tagged ‘The People’s Park’, the Harmony Beach Park in the tourism capital.
Holness was speaking at the official opening ceremony of the new Urban Development Corporation (UDC) facility, which was partially funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), and is located at the former Dump Up Beach Park.
The beach is one of the only remaining public beaches in Montego Bay. However, the multibillion-dollar project could experience erosion if the groynes surrounding the bay are not fixed.
It is not clear when the work will start, but the TEF will be required to play a critical role in the sustainability of the project.
According to Holness, the investment made by the tourism agency should not be viewed as a favour but part of its role and purpose was ensuring that some of what was gained from the tourism dollar would be used to develop not just the product, but the general public benefits as well from the industry.
“If this is not an example of how the wider Montego Bay community can get benefit from the tourism dollars, then I don’t know what is. This is a part of the process of ensuring that the people of Jamaica get the benefit of tourism,” he told the gathering.
When the Harmony Beach Park was conceptualised it was slated to become the symbolic, iconic recreational facility of the western part of Jamaica and the city of Montego Bay.
“It was done with it being the Emancipation Park of the west,” stated the prime minister.